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Women's Work, Part II

Out in the hallway, Taylor gives Tim the good news, and tells him to have the delegates head back to the U.N. Tim says he also wants to call CTU, "and implement those changes we discussed, if I still have your permission." Taylor leaves that up to him. No micromanager she. Which, believe it or not, is not another shot about Tim's height.

At CTU, Cole meets up with Hastings on the floor and explains how Kiefer and Walker bailed. Hastings nods understandingly as Cole adds that Samir is at Medical, barely conscious. Cole heads over that way while Hastings takes a call on his Bluetooth from someone named Wilson. At the same time (which is 8:18:13), Chloe gets a call from Tim. She offers to get Hastings for him, but Tim tells her she's the one he wants. Tim explains how the delegates are heading back to the U.N. to continue with the peace agreement. Chloe wonders how that's going to work, but Tim defers that question for now and asks whether CTU can provide security for the duration. "It's already been infiltrated by an enemy agent and compromised more than once today," he reminds her, as though she needs it. Chloe thinks he's trying to blame her for that. "On the contrary," he says, entering his office. He says that from his review of the hourlies, she's been doing a great job. Chloe wonders why he's calling, and he says, "I'm relieving Brian Hastings of his post effective immediately. We're now in the process of vetting suitable candidates to replace him, but until we find someone, you'll have provisional command." Chloe is stunned, as am I, but Tim has done his homework. "There's nobody in that building who has more experience than you do." What a pants-pissingly terrifying thought. Chloe tries to defend Hastings, but Tim insists, "My decision's made. Now accept it, and let's move on." Chloe asks if Hastings knows. "Division's informing him as we speak," he tells her, as she looks up to see Hastings up in his fishbowl office, gazing out over the floor and looking even more beleaguered than usual. Tim tells her he'll be in touch, and hangs up. I can see why that needed to be done before all the delegates had to be contacted and told not to go home.

As soon as he does, Chloe gets up and climbs the steps to what's about to be her office, then knocks on what's about to be her door. Hastings' call is over as well, and he tells her it's okay. Chloe in turn says it's not fair to put the blame on him, but he bravely points out, "Everything that happens here is my responsibility. The successes and the failures." And now they'll be Chloe's, although he doesn't say that part. "I recruited Dana Walsh into this agency. I let the snake into the garden." Flowery, aren't we? Hastings says they should start going over protocols, and says they shouldn't waste any time. Which could either mean "let's get right to it" or "please don't argue with me about every little damn thing while we're doing this."

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